CHICAGO -- Josh Groban has performed the national anthem not once, but twice before Game 1 of a World Series. Not bad for someone who hasn't even turned 25.
"It was great!" said the Los Angeles native, who had a packed U.S. Cellular Field cheering Saturday night. "The first time I did it [before game 1 of the 2002 World Series in Anaheim], I had never toured before, never had performed before large audiences before, so I was a little nervous. This time I have come off of a 200-city tour, Chicago being one of the greatest audiences I have ever had, and so to be back here in Chicago and to be able to do it for the World Series -- I was a little less nervous and it was nice. I was able to go out there and smell the roses and have fun."
Growing up in Southern California, his first stint in Anaheim was like performing before the home crowd. This time out, the 24-year-old singer said singing in Chicago had a completely different feel.
"It is a little different," said Groban. "But I love baseball so much as a sport -- we'll see when my hometown Dodgers get back to the Series, but in the meantime the White Sox and the Astros are such phenomenal teams, with two terrific managers, who are both such great guys. This is such an incredible honor, it's America's pastime and its incredible to be here for Game 1."
Groban was barely 21 when he performed the anthem the first time. His first CD, "Josh Groban," had just started moving up the record charts. A year later, his second CD, "Closer," became another major success. The singer worked with producer David Foster on the arrangement he used for the anthem.
"I had done that arrangement one other time and it was pretty much the same arrangement that we did the last time and it just works," said Groban. "I feel it every time I go out to perform that track and David Foster is the master at putting that stuff together."
Groban has just completed his tour and will return home to Southern California to complete his third studio CD that will be released sometime in 2006.
Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.